Pinguecula: Causes, Pathogenesis, Symptoms, Prevention

Pinguecula is an extremely common degenerative condition of the conjunctiva. It is a noncancerous and a yellowish white growth on the bulbar conjunctiva near the limbus. This condition is termed pinguecula, because of its resemblance to fat, which means pinguis.


Yellow white pinguecula on conjunctiva
Pinguecula


Most commonly pinguecula occurs in people over the age of 40 years, but in the people who continuously remain exposed to sunlight may occur early in life.

Causes of Pinguecula

The exact cause of pinguecula is not known. it has been considered as age change, occurring more commonly in persons exposed to strong sunlight, dust, and the wind. it is also considered as the precursor of pterygium.

Pathogenesis



There is an elastotic degeneration of the collagen fibers of the substantia propria of the conjunctiva, coupled with deposition of amorphous hyaline material in the substance of conjunctiva.

Clinical signs and Symptoms

Pinguecula is a bilateral, usually stationary condition, presenting as yellowish white triangular patch near the limbus. The apex of the triangle is away from the cornea. It affects the nasal side first and then the temporal side. When conjunctiva is congested, it stands out as an avascular prominence.

Mostly pinguecula doesn't cause any symptoms. But Discontinuance of natural layers of tears causes symptoms like dry eyes in some patients.Symptoms of dry eyes are foreign body sensation, itching, burning sensation, blurred vision.


Treatment

In the routine, no treatment is required for pinguecula. However, if so desired, it may be excised. Lubrication of the eye with drops help in relieving symptoms of dry eye.If it becomes very uncomfortable can be removed surgically. Redness and swelling can be treated with steroids and NSAIDs.

Prevention

  1. Whenever you go out, use sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight
  2. Use artificial tear drops in dry conditions.

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